Eight Ways to Publicize
by Christopher Pirillo
author, Poor Richard's E-mail
the URL (or subscription e-mail address) in other e-zines
This will work
best for zines distributed only by e-mail. In my experience with
my e-zine Lockergnome, it kicked the heck out of banner advertisement.
You can be more descriptive with a text ad. Plus, I believe that
the people who subscribe to one e-mail pub are more than likely
to subscribe to another one. It's easier to read than a Webzine;
subscribers read an e-mail publication at their leisure. And
once it is in their Inbox, they don't have to mess with being
connected to the Internet anymore. Not everyone uses the Web,
but just about everyone has an e-mail address.
like what they see, they'll tell a friend. Heck, I know Lockergnome
reaches more than 100,000 people just because many of my subscribers
print it out and pass it around the office. There's no better
advertisement than word of mouth. If you had to choose between
10 products, and your friend recommended just one of them, you'd
probably go with that oneif you trust your friend's judgment.
:) Also, be personal. It is a pain in the CPU to answer all the
e-mail I get, but I do answer it. People enjoy knowing that I'm
not a computer. They remember that they received personal e-mail
I can't stress
this part enough. People won't take you seriously unless you
take yourself seriously first. If you want to run with the 'big
boys', get a good virtual host with a fast connection, purchase
a web domain, and hire a designer if you can't design your way
out of a wet paper bag. At the very least, go through your zine
with a fine-toothed comb. If you're a good writer, people'll
love you. I've always been one to bend the grammatical rules,
but then again, I've got a degree in English Education, so I
can do that. :) How does this relate to publicizing? It crafts
4. Do It
Do something new.
People are more apt to pick up on something that hasn't been
done before. Do it first, and people will remember you. As an
example, if you say e-zine, I say John Labovitz, only because
his E-Zine-List is widely known in e-zine circles. But don't
copy someone else's idea. Yes, you can take and build upon what
you see, but if it doesn't scream "original", you might
as well not even bother. How much crud do you have to wade through
on the 'Net before you finally get to quality content? Remember
that before you even start typing.
a Linking Logo
Make an 88x31 logo
(they've become standard on Web pages). Here's the one I made
People love linking from their personal pages,
and sometimes from their professional pages. When I review a
product or Web site, I contact the person in charge on the chance
they'll want to announce that they appeared in Lockergnome. A
graphic catches surfers' eyes. If possible, try to get a small
description or personal accolade to accompany that link. It gives
it more credibility. Visit a site that I've reviewed and you
may find a Lockergnome graphic; if people see enough of 'em,
they'll probably visit. Surfers become familiar with a certain
name, and they trust it. If a person has a hobby (like cars)
then you'd want your car e-zine listed on every car page possible.
I review a lot of Windows shareware, and right now the online
shareware market is flooded. That puts me at an advantage as
well as a disadvantage. Pro: there are tons of surfers. Con:
there tons of other sites trying to get those surfers' attention.
That's where "being different" comes into play.
Find out where
they're coming from. If you're noticing subscriptions coming
from a certain site or e-zine, pursue a partnership with them.
And don't be afraid to receive feedback. Yes, you'll get negative
comments about 10 percent of the time, but that's human nature.
Are you doing your e-zine for yourself or for them? The subscriber
isn't always right, but they do have valid points and ideas which
could only help your readership grow. Give them credit if they
offer some content to your publication. Nothing makes you happier
than seeing your name in lights, right?
You're going to
get blamed for it anyway, but don't do it. There are enough people
out there who are giving our legitimate publications a very bad
name. If they can't remember subscribing to something they receive
in their Inbox, it's Spam. Their best friend (or enemy) could
have signed them up without asking permission first, and you'll
take the blame every time. Don't let it get you down, but don't
play their game, either. Along this thread, don't ever purchase
those "1 Billion E-mail Addresses" CD-ROMs. The key
is, "If you build it, they will come."
Your Allies Smartly
Guilt by association;
the same rule applies online. If you feel that you're in a different
league than another site, don't be afraid to say "no"
to a 'partnership' or link exchange. If you feel that site's
content isn't as good as it could possibly be, offer suggestions
and wait until improvements are made. Of course, you can't be
afraid to ask other people out there if they'd like to do something
with you (e.g., a joint promotion). Don't compromise quality
for quantityever. Of course, if you can get both quality
and quantity, you're good to go. But be careful about what you
say and do, and what the sites you associate with say or do.
Also by Christopher Pirillo:
15 Great E-Publishing Tips
external sites open in new window
report new or dead sites here